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The Marine Corps Institute has facilitated the training and education of individual Marines throughout the world since the 1920s. Now there are more than 250 courses available to support a mojority of the military occupational specialties in the Marine Corps.

Photo by Cpl. Monica C. Erickson

Helping Marines advance in rank, knowledge

26 Nov 2009 | Cpl. Monica C. Erickson

Since the 1920s, the Marine Corps Institute has been tasked with training and educating individual Marines throughout the Corps.

More than 250 MCI courses are available, which support a majority of the military occupational specialties in the Marine Corps. The purpose of MCI courses is to provide training and education to increase technical and professional skills needed by Marines to do their jobs.

“For the individual Marine, if they do their MCIs correctly, it acts as a great tool,” said 1st Sgt. Thomas Russi, the first sergeant for Company A, Headquarters Battalion. “Say an infantry Marine does an MCI on patrolling – he reads it and applies it – it makes him a better warfighter in garrison and in the field.”

According to Russi, MCI courses will mostly help privates to lance corporals gain valuable points toward meritorious boards. When a noncommissioned officer goes on a board, their MCI courses don’t weigh as much as they do for junior Marines unless their mandatory MCI’s are not complete – but Russi said Marines should not be going up on boards if their mandatory courses are not complete.

The Leading Marines MCI is mandatory for lance corporals to be promoted to corporals. There are five other mandatory MCI courses which every Marine should complete, Russi said. Those courses are: Leading Marines, Personal Financial Management, Terrorism Awareness, Math for Marines and Spelling.

NCOs must have the 8010 series finished – which includes Basic Grammar, Leadership, Military Studies, Introduction to Warfighting, Warfighting Tactics, War- fighting Techniques and Weapons. Land Navigation is a prerequisite to completing the 8010 series.

Lance Cpl. Estevania Reyes, a postal clerk with the installation’s Post Office, found out she was going on a board and began doing as many MCI courses as possible to help further her score. So far, she has completed more than 30 MCI’s.

“I did the MCI pertinent to my MOS,” said Reyes, a Lancaster, Penn., native. “After I did that one, I went on to do as many administrative MCIs as possible.”

Reyes said doing the MCIs has also helped her in her workplace.

“I am a postal clerk, but I work a lot with mailroom clerks,” Reyes said. “Our jobs are different and after doing the mailroom clerk MCI, I started to understand what different job duties they had. It really helped me get along better with the people I work with.”

MCI’s help Marines get college credits, and lance corporals and corporals can receive a maximum of 100 self education points that go toward their composite score for promotion to the next rank.

Marines need to take full advantage of anything that will help further their education, especially in their MOS, said Capt. Roger Hill, the commanding officer of Co. A, Headquarters Bn., “Marines need to put their effort into this,” said Hill, a Fort Worth, Texas, native. “Anytime a Marine gains skill or knowledge, it will help benefit them for their next promotion.”

Lance Cpl. Sose Frankyan, a new joins clerk with the Installation Personnel Administrative Center, has already completed more than 60 MCI courses.

“I started doing the basic MCIs that were relevant to my MOS,” she said. “Then I moved on to every subject that interested me. It really helped me understand what the other MOSs were like.”

MCI courses can be ordered through the mail, but Marines can enroll in the majority of the courses online by logging in at To complete an MCI online, authorized personnel must log into the Web site, set up the course, and watch over the Marines taking the test.

With the help of technology and MCI courses, Marines can apply the lesson they learned to better themselves, their units and become better warfighters.

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